08.00-10.00 Panel: On South Africa – the guest country
Just glaring over the past tumultuous 100 years, South Africa, on account of its heroic victory over the most heinous system of apartheid, oppression, and exploitation followed by the judicious adoption of its highly plausible policy of peace, reconciliation and togetherness among its multi-ethnic, multi- cultural nation state, has deservedly symbolised both the African continent’s historical pride as well as its hopeful future. Therefore, the HIBF, marking its 10th anniversary, and poised to further develop its literary and cultural achievements, finds it most auspicious in this august occasion to have the Rainbow Nation of South Africa as its most honoured Guest Country This panel will feature South Africa.
The panel will be lead Dr. Iqbal Jhazbhay, South Africa’s current Ambassador to the State of Eritrea, formerly Professor at the University of South Africa and the previous Director of the Unisa Centre for Arabic and Islamic Studies. Dr. Jhazbhay research interests include Islam in Somaliland and Somalia, South African Islam, Sufism, Political Islam, South African foreign policy towards North Africa and the Middle East, international relations and Islam. He has authored the book, ”Somaliland: An African struggle for nationhood and international recognition”, some twenty-two academic articles and chapters on Islamic thought, Somaliland and South African foreign policy. For the purpose of this discussion, Dr. Jhazbhay will be focusing on Somaliland and the International context, with a specific emphasis on the makings of good leaders, ambassadors and political activists to advance Somaliland cause more strategically.
Mr. David Monyae is the Co-Director at the University of Johannesburg Confucius Institute (UJCI). He is an International Relations and Foreign Policy Expert who holds a PhD in International Relations. Prior to this, he was the Section Manager: International Relations Policy Analysis for the Parliament of South Africa, where he provided Strategic management; Parliamentary Foreign Policy Formulation, Monitoring and Analysis. As Policy Analyst, at the Development Bank Southern Africa (DBSA), Mr. Monyae undertook major research on Regional Economic Communities (RECS) in Africa, with special focus on infrastructure for investment opportunities for DBSA. He designed and introduced DBSA’s Policy Briefs and Working Papers, and represented the Bank in major infrastructure projects in Africa. In addition, he was part of the South African academic delegations to India, Brazil, and South Africa (IBSA) in 2010 and Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa summits to Beijing 2011, New Delhi for BRICS summit 2012 and Durban 2013. Mr. Monyae lectured South Africa’s foreign policy and Africa’s International Relations in the Department of International at the University of the Witwatersrand for nine years. He has published widely and is also a respected political analyst featuring in both national and international media outlets.
Dr Raphael d’Abdon is a writer, scholar, spoken word poet, editor and translator. He holds an MA in Arts from the University of Uppsala (Sweden) and a PhD in Linguistics and Literary Studies from the University of Udine (Italy), and is a lecturer at the Department of English Studies at the University of South Africa (UNISA). He has published articles, essays, translations, interviews, short stories and poems in several volumes and journals. In 2007 he complied, translated and edited I nostri semi/Peo tsa rona, an anthology of contemporary South African poetry published by Mangrovie (Naples, Italy). In 2011 he translated into Italian (with Lorenzo Mari) Bless Me Father (La Compagnia delle Lettere), the autobiography of South African poet Mario d’Offizi. He has read his poetry in South Africa, Nigeria, Italy and the USA, where he chaired a session on spoken word and literature at the 2011 Chinua Achebe Colloquium. In 2013, he compiled and edited the collection Marikana: A Moment in Time (Geko), published his debut poetry collection sunnyside nightwalk (Geko), and was one of the featured poets at the “Poetry Africa” festival in Durban. In 2016 he published his second collection of poems, salt water (Poetree Publishing). He lectures at the Mzansi Poetry Academy, he is the co-editor of the academic journal scrutiny, and he is a member of ZAPP (The South African Poetry Project) and IPP (International Poetry Project), two joint-projects of the University of Cambridge, UNISA and the University of the Witwatersrand, whose chief aims are to promote poetry in schools in South Africa, UK and beyond, and to instill knowledge, understanding and a love of poetry in young learners.
10.00 -12.00: “Language Connects: HIBF ties France” event will be hosted by the Edna Adan University Hospital, introduced by Eole Sure, 2nd Counselor, Embassy of France in Kenya.
Francophone Somalis are not limited to Djibouti where the official administrative language and teaching medium are mainly French. In Somaliland, there are many French speaking Somali diaspora who have returned from France to live in the country and have become part and parcel of Somaliland community. Recently, to cater for those returnees, the first French-language school has opened in Hargeisa, with some thirty students enrolled at the University Hospital Center Edna Adan in Hargeysa for weekly meetings. And the library of the Hargeysa Cultural Center dedicates a whole section to the works in French language.
This year, HIBF wants to connect France with Francophone Somali literature, presenting and exploring prose and poetry written in French by Djiboutians, as well as French influence in Somali music. Five authors whose literary works were originally written in French, including Abdirahman Waberi (famous Djiboutian writer of fiction), Rashid Hashi (writer and poet of fiction), Dr Hibo Moumin Assoweh (poet and expert in literature Djiboutian francophone), Dr. Abdirachid Mohamed Ismael (linguist and writer) and Idiris Y Elmi (writer and great translator of works in Somalia-French or French-Somali). The session will end with a musical show in French presented Sahra Halgan, famous Franco-Somalander singer.
Speakers: Dr. Hibo, Rashid Hashi, Dr. Idiris Y Elmi moderated by Dr. Abdiraschid Mohamed Ismael. The language of the panel will be French, with a possible translation into Somali possible, upon request. Place of the meeting: university room at the University Hospital Edna Adan, first floor.
Dr. Hibo Moumin Assoweh: Director of the Research Center of the University of Djibouti, President of the Book Caravan of Djibouti. She is a graduate of the University of the Sorbonne in Literature, and is co-author of the collection of poems Passerelle: collection of poems.
Rachid Hashi: An engineer by training, and an officer of the Djiboutian Army, Rachid Hachi has a devouring passion for literature, whether in prose or poetry. From the Crown of the Negus to the Haunted Tower, through the Child of Balbala, The Red Maccabees, The Summer Acacias, The Silence Pact, etc., Rachid Hachi’s works are numerous and varied. They attract more and more Djiboutian readers.
Dr. Idiris Y Elmi: Unesco Representative in Djibouti and former Director of the Djibouti Language Institute, Idris Y. Elmi is both poet and fiction writer, writing both in French and in Somali. His most emblematic writings remain the collection of poetry Cure of words to the younger mine, and his new Galaxy of the Absurd.
Dr. Abdirachid Mohamed Ismael: Specialist in linguistics, author of academic articles and editor-in-chief of the Irica Information Bulletin (Horn of Africa Research Institute). He is also co-author of the work in Somali Cilmi Boodheri iyo Jacaylkii taamka ahaa; and author of ‘Elmi Bodheri: The absolute love of a poet.
16.00-18.00: Book Launches?
18.30-19.30: Somaliland inspired poetry
Hargeysa City through the poetic words of HIBF Guests. Foreign poets who attended HIBF for the last 10 years remembered their (mostly first time) visit in Hargeysa through poetic words. Mpalive Msiska edited a short volume of these poems and featured poets include Jack Mapanje (Malawi), Osundare (Nigeria), Idirs Elmi (Djibouti), Chuma Nkolowo (Nigeria), and Mplive Msiska (Malawi), Phylis XXX (Kenya)
19.30-21.30: Panel: Women’s Evening